That’s No Way to Sort a Calendar

Well shoot, I thought Google Calendar was going to be a killer app. I had set one up for our NMC Second Life blog site, hoping the calendar sharing features might allow others we give access the ability to schedule their events. Well, it does do that.

But noted by someone in an email who was asking about sorting, I now see by looking at the raw XML, that the items are dated not by the event date, but when the entry was last updated… and that sort of sorting is pretty useless for using RSS unless you just happen to edit your calendar in reverse chronological order. That is just squirrelly weird… the event dates are lumped into summary and item descriptions, which throws up all kinds of new coding challenges to parse and sort. I cannot find too much use for this kind of calendar feeding.

So in experiment mode, I am taking a quick look at:

  • RSS Calendar – is pretty straight forward and does provide feeds in event date order. You can categorize events to create different feeds. Entry is old school web, form based, no slick Ajax editing. Another downside, no import of calendar events by iCal or other forms. it looks like individual events can be iCal exported.
  • 30Boxes was recommended by Todd – it was a slicker editor (one field quick adds), more customization on display, better syndication options and export. It looks like it has the ability to import other content via RSS.

The thing lacking from both is they are geared towards individual calendar editor/creators; and the piece I did like about Google Calendar is I could give event addition rights to others. Of course, I could share a generic login to both services above, and I might end up doing so.

But bottom line- Google Calendar is neat, but the weirdness in the RSS feed format may rule it out for me, and as of yet, I have found no way I could link a calendar view Oops just found a method in the Calendar Publishing Guide.

It looks like to get the sort order correct, one might need to use some PHP and MagpieRSS to do some advanced parsing, which might take away my Ajax approach (which is hardly critical).

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. The RSS feed is for notification of changes to the calendar, not for republishing the calendar data. If you want to actually republish the calendar, then I think the ical file is the better choice, not the RSS.

  2. I personally use 30boxes and find their custom rss/ical feeds fantastic. I also like bringing feeds into my calendar.

    We do use Airset (airset.com) at my school for some group calendaring though, and it works pretty well. Try that out.

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